My girlfriend was diagnosed
My girlfriend has just been diagnosed, she was married and has two kids... I had been having second thoughts about our relationship because I'm kind of afraid of the idea of all of a suden having kids. I love her, she is beautiful and so nice and caring... but now with the disease I'm even more confused... I simply don't know how to handle the situation, I don't want to hurt her, but I want a life that I'm now not sure she can give me... first the kids and now this...
I don't want to make her feel even worse, she was starting to have so many illusions about us and plans, I feel she was starting to believe she was given a second chance in life to be happy... and she would feel everything is over for her...
I'm very confused, honestly... I must be being seen as selfish for having this feelings I have, but I don't know what to do, where should I draw the line? ...I don't know what else I can say, I don't want to be selfish, but I want a happy life too...
I'd appreciate any thoughts... how should I handle this situation? how could I make the less damage? how would a life with her be? I'm so confused...
Last edited by Jeremy Kronuz; 03-12-2010 at 02:01 PM.
Wow..thats a lot..how is her health now?? I don't want to venture into relationship advice but I can tell you about living with Lupus.So many of us have had symptoms or the actual disease for a long time...and lead fairly normal, productive lives. I work, have two children, a house and all the 'stuff' that goes with it. I have some ups and downs but I am not sofa surfing...as most of us are not. There are good periods and not so good periods...my husband and kids deal with it...no choice. Hopefully you will know what you need to do.
She had been having joint aches in her hands for a few weeks, and then there was this rash on her cheeks... for some time she also had been worried about how easily she got bruises and about her headaches.
When she was diagnosed I wasn't with her when the doctor told her, she was all by herself. She didn't know I was there, because she only mentioned she was going to go to the doctor and I wanted it to be a surprise when she saw me, but I got there a little bit late. So there I was, outside the doctor's office, waiting with some flowers (I regret I wasn't in there with her at that time, I feel so bad about it)... this doctor was so rude and heartless, after checking her laboratory tests and examining her, he just ruthlessly told her she had S.L.E. (stage one) to which she had no idea what it was, and the doctor then told her it was a degenerative non-curable disease, to which he later added: "...oh, and by the way we need more tests to see how affected your internal organs might be" She started crying right there. I was so mad when she told me the way the doctor broke the news on her... how can some doctors be so insensitive!?
That was two days ago, and she still feels so depressed, she is clearly insinuating now that I should look for someone else, since she doesn't want to be a drag for anybody, she is so afraid of that... I fear she feels her life is over. Today I tried to comfort her, telling her so many things to cheer her up, how strong she was and how everything would be alright, and that she would never be a drag for anyone, that she should give those thoughts up. I know she appreciated it, I saw it when she told me "thank you, I love you"... with tears in her eyes.
I'm so confused... it's not like we had any plans of getting married or anything, not at all, I had told her already that I did not have plans for that yet at this point in my life and that I was a little scared about becoming a parent all of a sudden (I wanted to be straight about it with her)... she said it was okay, that she wasn't looking for another marriage either ("just yet", she said), but I'm sure she had fantasized about the thought (I was her "prince charming", I overheard her saying once to one of her girl friends, but of course she never admitted it)...
I fear you'll think that I'm a coward, that if I really love her this all shouldn't matter to me... I do love her, but it's true, I don't know if I have the strength to deal with all this. And I certainly don't want to hurt her and bring her down even more. What should I do!?
Last edited by Jeremy Kronuz; 03-13-2010 at 04:18 PM.
I'm Rob, and I was diagnosed with SLE in 2004. When I was diagnosed, I was about to marry my girlfriend of 6 years. Unfortunately, she could not deal with my diagnosis, and she left. That was 4 years ago, and today, I am living with Lupus and managing it. I have a new, and wonderful lady in my life, and despite it all, I am living a pretty good life. Things are not perfect, but they are pretty damn good overall.
My point, is that people with Lupus can still live a productive and happy life, it's by no means an end. Your girlfriend was just diagnosed, and there is going to be a period of shock, fear, and uncertainty for you both. This is not permanent. She will need to adjust and make some lifestyle changes, and it will take time for these adjustments.
You, are not a coward. You say that if you really love her, that all this should not matter. But the fact that you do indeed love her is the very reason why this does matter to you. You love her and she's recieved a rather serious bit of news about her health. If this DIDN'T matter to you, I would say there is something wrong. Relationships are tough, and I am no expert. Like Andrea, I don't want to venture into relationship advice. I would just say that Lupus is not the end, not by a longshot, and that many people live long, and rewarding lives despite it.
The fact that you sought out a website to learn about Lupus, tells me that you really care about her. Your frankness about your concerns tells me you are an honest man. The other issues, like becoming a parent (or step parent) suddenly is enough to make any man apprehensive. Just take things slowly, and talk to her. Tell her your concerns, and ask her more about hers. Just be honest with her, and take it slow.
Welcome to our group,
Last edited by rob; 03-13-2010 at 05:44 AM.
About SLE, how often and how serios are flares (commonly), how long do they last? in a period of inactivity, do you feel great, like if nothing?... I just can't find any specifics about this. I know it varies a lot, but most commonly for most, how is it? and what were the main areas of your life that changed when you were diagnosed, and how drastically?
Thank you Rob, I'm sorry to hear about her not being able to deal with it, even after six years of being together. I'm sorry to ask, but how was it for you? do you hold resentment towards her? did you understand her at the time? did you feel she was being selfish and careless or rude? do you still see her? how did she part and how and how soon did she tell you her concerns? how did you feel? did you see it coming? was it a major concern for you at the moment? and how would you have wanted her to tell you, that you think would have been easier on your feelings and made it more bearable? ...so many questions I'm really sorry to ask, but I'd like to know your side of the story and your feelings at the time.
The more I read about it, and the more I read about stories from married couples, the more I fear. I think I'll give it time first, and take it slowly as you say, wait for things to seattle and cool down a bit to see how it goes, but many of the dreams and expectations I had about our relationship are beginning to fade as I realize the truth about this complicated situation...
Each person with Lupus is different, and will have different symptoms. For me, I am basically in a constant state of flare. Every three days or so, I get some typical symptoms like joint pain, mouth sores, and brain fog. It usually gives me one or two bad days, then it subsides, and I feel pretty good. Good enough to do all of my usual errands, and good enough to pursue my various hobbies and interests. Everyone is different though. Some people go for weeks, months, even years without any active disease activity. Some people even go into remission.
About my ex, she came home one day, and told me that she needed a man in her life who has a future, not some guy who will probably be dead in a couple of years. She actually said that. It was sudden, and unexpected. She turned cold as ice and just left. At this time, I was also in the process of having to sell my business, as I could no longer work. I also discovered that the people I thought were friends, really were not, as they stopped coming around and calling. I was basically alone, devastated, and without hope. I decided to end it all, and I damn near succeeded. Took a handful of Xanax, washed it down with a pint of vodka, and when that wasn't working fast enough, I got in my car and turned into the path of the first big truck that came my way. It was bad.
It took me a good year to get over the injuries, and I set out to make amends and restart my life. I called the ex and told her that I felt nothing for her but pity, and that I would never speak to her again. I moved from Arizona, to Maine to be close to my family, and to start over. I've never spoken to her since, and never will. I harbored such anger and hatred, the pain of all the loss was overwhelming at times. As far as I know, she's been through multiple boyfriends since me, and now lives alone in an apartment back in Phoenix. Today, I honestly do not feel anything for her anymore, no hate, no nothing. She was just a minor bump in the road.
After many years alone, I met a lady who I have now been dating for about 3 months, and she knew about my Lupus and other health problems up front, and she is very accepting, and supportive. She is everything my ex never was and then some.
It's funny, the ex always dreamed of moving to Maine, buying a house with an ocean view, and spending the summer's sailing. Well, I now have that house, that view, and that boat, and I have long outlasted her prediciton of me "being dead in a couple of years". And, I have a smart, beautiful, amazing woman in my life who accepts my limitations. Life is good, and I am no longer simply existing, I'm living.
About your situation, I am going to stick with my take it slow advice. Do the two of you talk openly about your concerns? Does she have supportive people in her life? One thing that can really mean the world to a person with Lupus, is to have a significant other/spouse who will stick with them despite the disease. I wish I had better advice, or more insights to give you. Let's see what some of the other people here have to say. I hope we can help you find the answers you need.
OK, now that Rob has answered you, I'm going to jump in here. When I first read this post, I just couldn't answer because it upset me. I feel very protective of Rob and I knew his story, and this reminded me of what he went through. As Rob told you, a person who is dealing with a health issue does need a loved one who will stand by them. Luckily for me, my hubby's reaction was this - "I said in sickness and in health, didn't I?" Really, my Jeff hit it exactly. When you are in love with someone, you accept them and love them no matter what - even if he snores, even if she leaves her make-up all over the bathroom, even if he forgets everything, or even if she's sick. That's what love is all about - acceptance and a bit of compromise. My hubby is very healthy and athletic. He does his athletic stuff on his own. We have other interests that we share that I can participate in, so we very much enjoy each others company. That is what you need to ask yourself - do you love her "in sickness and in health"?
Your second question dealt with the kids. You have to remember here - she and the kiddos are a package deal. The children need someone to depend upon and look up to as much as she does, since it seems that their father failed at this. Let me tell you what my own daughter is dealing with. She has a few health problems, too - severe asthma, IBS, and one working kidney. Her SO never agreed to marry her, even though they had a child. He insisted that she always pay "her half" of everything. She's still trying to pay off medical bills from when she had the baby four years ago, and part of them were even covered by our insurance, since she was a college student at the time. BTW, he's a financial adviser, and she's a pre-school teacher. She has always struggled to pay "her part" and she has recently found out that he has cheated her out of a lot of money each tax season by filing together and keeping what should have been her money. She wouldn't have a car if her grandmother had not left her car to her when she passed away, and she wouldn't have a phone if we hadn't kept her on our plan.
The point that I'm getting to is this. She finally left the jerk and struck out on her own. She renewed a friendship with an old boyfriend who is soon to get out of the army. He has been sending her loving and encouraging texts daily. He sent her roses on Valentine's Day and sent her a large-screen TV just because her son was upset about not being able to watch his Disney movies at her apartment. Even more important than this, he is making plans for them to be a family. He's planning to take my grandson fishing, to water slides, and already planning a family trip to Florida so that Kyle can go swimming with the dolphins. He's told Kayla that he hopes that they can have a little girl, since they already have a boy. He would love to have a large family, but he understands that it might be hard on her physically, so he's suggested that they adopt "a bunch".
This is a real man, and we are anxious to call him our son-in-law. He accepts and loves are daughter, just the way she is, and he accepts her son as his own.
So, I would say to you, Jeremy, can you think of this family as your own? Do you love all of them, just the way they are?
You have a lot to decide together, but please don't hurt them.
I certainly do not want to hurt her, not at all, and I would hope I never say things that bluntly. I was truly sorry to hear how cold Rob's ex was with him. Rob, I'm sorry I brought bad memories upon you, but I'm happy to hear you are better now, it must have been a horrible experience, to say the least. I could not live with having contributed on making someone feel that bad.
About my girlfriend, she has a little six years old daughter and a nine years old boy, the little girl also has some asthma problems, I've been told... but we haven't really been together for that long yet, we have been going out for about five months only (even though I have known her for little over two years) and I have only seen her kids a few times. I have been delaying the involvement with the kids both because I'm a little scared, and since it hasn't really been that long yet since she separated from her husband and I read that me getting involved just yet can be very confusing for them... That guy loved the kids and they loved him (specially the little girl) but he treated his wife badly, he cheated on her, he acted violently and aggressively towards her, pushing her and even hitting her a couple times, she told me. She said she often felt humiliated and that she always knew how he was, but she still got married because she wanted to give a chance to the father of her boy to be with his kid, and she wanted her son to have a father.
With the divorce and all, she had just recently gone through too much emotional stress too, having to take antidepressant medications and all. She was just starting to get over it and now she just received this awful news. Yesterday I got her a new cell phone that she wanted. It's one of those hi-tech really complicated smartphones, she likes that stuff, and I told her it was for her to play with something if she was feeling down during the weekend and for her to call me or text me if she needed anything.
I don't want to hurt her, honestly, that is why I'm here... I want to understand what she's going thru and think about my decision with all the facts at hand... and shall I decide to part, I'd want it to be as gently as possible, and I'd still want to help her through with what I can to make her feel better if she lets me. I don't want her to feel rejected, I think rejection, and specially for something one doesn't have control over, it's one of the most painful feelings there are in life... but the truth is if I leave her, I'd be rejecting her, no matter how nicely or gently I'd put it... as the saying goes, you can paint flowers on a turd, but it still smells like a piece of crap.
Last edited by rob; 03-15-2010 at 05:14 PM.
It sounds like your relationship is too new to be thinking too seriously right now. You should be there for her when she needs you, keep an open mind and just see how your relationship progresses. Check out this site and others, and learn as much as you can about her SLE. She will appreciate your knowledge and understanding. If you grow to really love her and the kids, you'll know it, and her illness won't matter at all.
Thank you, I really feel something very strong for this woman and I truly want to make her feel happy. When she told me she had been diagnosed, I did not know a thing about it, I had to ask her the name of the disease twice, and what it was because I had never even heard of it before. But now I've been reading a lot about Lupus, not only to help me make a decission, but also to better understand what she is going through and try to help her and support her in any way I can.
I'll try to make her feel better, I want her to feel like the better part of her life is yet to come and that she'll be fine. I think I'll try to do that by treating her as if nothing is all that wrong and everything is fine, as it was before; still being thoughtful about her condition and giving her chance to adjust to her new life. I don't want to be asking her every single day how she now feels that day, because those things would be obvious, and I believe me asking all the time would seem as if I have pity on her and I certainly don't want her to feel that way, instead I want her to know that I'm proud of her strength handling the situation.
Today we had breakfast together, her daugher was with her, and she is a wonderfuly happy little girl. I even felt a stronger bound building between us now. Hopefuly in time I'll learn to cope with the situation as well as she and one day we might just both realize this was just the beginning of something beautiful for both.
Tags for this Thread